Performance management affects everyone – cat-egorically

The government has ensured that worker productivity principles apply to all of its employees including Larry the Number 10 cat and Palmerston his counterpart at the Foreign Office. 

The UK’s economy is often criticised for lagging behind in worker productivity in comparison to other leading economies. Performance management is a major challenge for all employers and not even civil servants should be immune.

The government, as you would expect (perhaps), has ensured that these principles apply to all of its employees including Larry the Number 10 cat and Palmerston his counterpart at the Foreign Office.

‘Palmerston excelling at his role’

The Evening Standard reports on an application made under the Freedom of Information Act and says “official figures have revealed that Palmerston, who arrived at the FCO from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in 2016, is excelling at his role”.  The official papers show that he has caught at least twenty-seven mice since he arrived at the FCO which outperforms his much more famous neighbour Larry.  The Evening Standard goes on to write “Larry has become better known for his strolls along Downing Street and frequent appearances on journalists’ social media accounts”.

There is some truth in this.  Larry the cat (@Number10cat) has his own Twitter profile in which he is followed over 138,000 followers.  By way of comparison @Palmerstonfocat has a mere 15,600 followers.  Larry used his Twitter feed to warn Sky News about the story by simply tweeting “Lawyer Up @Sky News” which is just the sort of fighting talk you might expect from a street brawling cat, although the suggestion is that Larry may have become a fat cat.  So far Palmerston appears to have kept his own counsel and, of course, discretion is often the better part of valour.

The Foreign Office has not provided details of the cost to the taxpayer of his services although apparently the cost of his food and care is met voluntarily by staff.  He has a liking for Whiskas but also will eat other brands.  The article goes on to say that there could be some doubt over the reported kill total as the government, to its shame, admits not keeping accurate records.

Apparently the death toll is based upon visual sightings or, presumably, the mangled evidence.  We are also not told if either cat is entitled to an annual bonus or performance related pay…